He’s not heavy, he’s my brother

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Ah family.  You can’t pick your family members – unless you belong to some weird cult – and regardless of what happens, they are still family.  That’s the issue facing Mark Grayson as he attempts to deal with the fallout from the previous chapter.

invincible_53.jpgPreviously in Invincible: While traveling the galaxy, Mark Grayson (a.k.a. Invincible) discovers his father isn’t dead, but has been living his life with an advanced alien bug race.  Omni-Man even went so far to make with the snoo-snoo with one of the female bugs, bringing into the world Mark’s half brother Oliver.  The alien race’s metabolism is such that the hive is born and die in a very short time span, but because of the Viltrumite influence, Oliver ages, just not as fast.  Biologically, Oliver is related to Mark, but when Oliver comes to Earth and ends up living with a group of people he has no connection to, he begins to revert to his alien way of thinking – to the point that when his Viltrumite powers manifest, he finds it easier to just kill the villains to save everyone the hassle.  Mark seems to sympathize with his purple baby bro.

When you have all the time in the world, you find yourself analyzing and rethinking everything you’ve done and said.  Mark is more than bothered by young Oliver’s lack of emotion when savagely killing criminals.  It’s something that does deserve deep thought, but probably not when you are on your big date with the love of your life, Atom Eve.

There are some good interactions in this issue between Eve and Mark, but ultimately, Mark’s excuses and Eve’s supposed understanding feel just like the conversations Mary Jane and Peter Parker had about a year or so ago in the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man.  As much as I want these two kids to get together, I foresee a time when Eve has had enough of emo Mark, and moves on.  Lord, help the boy who gets on her bad side.

A pure sitting around chatting without any action may work in a Bendis book, but Kirkman is more than willing to give the reader what s/he wants by injecting a nice fight scene between Invincible and Titan. I’ll admit that I lapsed in my Invincible reading during the 40s, as I was making a transition between trade and single issues, so I’m not entirely clear as to who The Order is, but I think that is secondary – they are bad guys, there is a fight, something unexpected happens.

What is more important is the ongoing conflict Mark and Oliver are having over nature.  Mark’s willingness to let his human side guide him is completely lost on Oliver, who doesn’t understand human nature, instead believing in the needs of the society, and not the individual.  It’s all very Star Trek II, but is a perfect point of view for this resident alien.  It’s too bad all of Oliver’s arguments are lost on Mark.  It gives me a very weird Damian vibe, as I half expect Oliver to go on some kind of killing spree, erasing every emotional connection Mark has with the human world.  Could we see the death of Mark’s mother, his friends, and even an attack on Eve just so Oliver can prove his point?

It took my some time to figure out why I didn’t like the art in this issue.  Ryan Ottley has been with Invincible since the early days (issue #8, if I’m not mistaken), and even though his art style has changed, I knew that wasn’t the reason.  I had to do some digging until I finally figured it out – Ottley didn’t do his own inks this issue, instead passing the duties to Cliff Rathburn.  This is a perfect example of how art style can change drastically, and for the worse, just by switching out the person doing the ink work.

Much like last issue, Kirkman has given the reader a cliff-hanger that, while not a major dum-Dum-DUMMMM moment,  makes you realize things are not good in the Grayson household.  I’m giving Invincible #53, 3 out of 5 Stars on this one.  I like the story, but the art just doesn’t do it for me.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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